New Math Could Allow Trump EPA To Justify Climate Legislation Rollback

May 24, 2019

Coal plants are large contributors to fine particulate matter in the air. There is no scientific consensus on what a safe level is.
Credit Alan Stark / Flickr Creative Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency may change the way it calculates the health risks of air pollution, according to the New York Times. The change would make it easier to roll back the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which took steps to decarbonize the electricity sector. The EPA’s new math would attribute fewer predicted premature deaths to air pollution than the model that has been in place for decades. It would also suggest that improving air quality beyond a set threshold is unnecessary. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with Drew Shindell, a professor of climate sciences at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, about the proposed change and what it means for the health of both people and the planet.